Last week when I was looking for web design companies to make a new website for RakNet, I sent out about 10 requests for bids. The request was well-written, complete, and professional. However, I only got 5 responses. At roughly the same time, I contacted 3 marketing firms to help market RakNet, and didn’t get any responses.
Imagine if, instead of Jenkins Software, Microsoft or Sony sent that same sales request? How many replies would they have gotten?
This is clout, and its based on how much money the other side thinks you have, and how much they think they can gain from dealing with you. It’s like a game almost, where you have to have a certain clout level to talk to certain NPCs.
Connections are the cheat codes to give yourself clout with certain NPCs.
Yesterday I said to a friend, “Friends and connections are what this industry is about I think.” In fact some business activities require so much clout that it is nearly impossible to achieve them without connections, or the clout that connections have already provided you:
1. Become a licensed console developer
2. Sell to a company that makes over a few million in sales a year
3. Purchase major advertising
4. Get mentioned in major game industry news reports
5. Hire top-tier talent
6. Partner with other companies to form bundling deals
7. Get outside funding
And if I wrote a list of the 7 activities that make a middleware company most likely to succeed, what would that be?
Succeeding with connections is not a matter of making false friends of hope of getting something in return. It’s about being able to work with people you trust, and having those people trust you in return. Big deals require trust and 90% of our daily interactions is based the human factor.
Don’t burn your bridges, make an effort to know people, give good customer support, help people who ask for help sincerely, and keep in contact with the people you do know.